Jun 5, 2006

Hiring a Designer: Part 1

A friend recently wrote me to ask:

"My wife and I are thinking about changing around our backyard a bit... She has some grand ideas and wanted to see how this process works. If we wanted to work with you, what are the fees, how do we find a contractor to do the work, are you modern, do you get it... you know the usual stuff..."

My answer is worth sharing:

Depending on what you want to do, there are different areas of expertise to look into:
-At the top of the food chain are landscape architects, who are licensed to design structures and complex systems that have health & safety implications, as well as plantings, irrigation, and lighting;
-Landscape contractors are (well, should be) licensed to build structures and install hardscape and irrigation, and design anything they build;
-Landscape designers (like me) legally can't do anything more than develop plans for planting, irrigation, & lighting; we can call out general hardscape locations and finishes, but can't specify how they should be built. Because there's no requirement for licensure or even education, any hack can call themselves a designer... obviously. ;-)

You can check out the following industry associations' sites for more information on each:
- Landscape architecture
- Landscape contractors
-Landscape designers

Next up: Fees…

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